The Colorado Department of Transportation is joining local programs to observe Older Driver Safety Awareness week, which kicks off December 2.
The goal of the program is to promote the importance of mobility and transportation for older adults and to make sure they can remain active on roads.
According to CDOT, in 2018 there were 129 drivers over the age of 65 that were involved in fatal crashes. That same years, 74 older drivers died in car crashes.
Older drivers are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash because physical, cognitive, and sensory changes that can affect driving.
“Older adults want to maintain their independence as they age and their independence is linked to their cars,” said Maile Gray, executive director of Drive Smart Colorado. “Drivers who use self-management to review their driving skills can retain their independence longer, while limiting risks to themselves and others.”
A good way for older drivers to increase safety behind the wheel is to make sure their vehicle is properly adjusted. In 2019 CDOT sponsored 57 CarFit events around the state. At these events volunteers check for:
- A seat belt that holds the driver in the proper position and remains comfortable while driving.
- The tilt of the steering wheel and position of the airbag.
- Plenty of room (at least 10 inches) between the chest and the airbag
- A properly adjusted head restraint.
- A clear line of sight above the steering wheel and dash.
- Easy access to gas and brake pedals.
- Properly adjusted mirrors.
- Ability to see around the vehicle by reducing the driver’s blind spots.
- The ability to turn the vehicle’s ignition key with ease or operate an ignition system.
- Easy operation of vehicle controls including turn signals, headlights, emergency flashers, windshield wipers, and the parking brake, among others.
To find a Car-Fit event, click here for more information.